Schola Campesina is an international agroecology school, based in Italy (Biodistrict delle Via Amerina e delle Forre, Viterbo province).
Our goal is to develop and share knowledge on agroecology and specifically on the global governance of food and agriculture (international processes that influence policies at all levels, having an important impact on small-scale food producers).
Schola Campesina facilitates the sharing of knowledge amongst food producers’ organizations and other allies (academia, activists) on global governance processes in order to (1) improve their participation within the global spaces; and (2) facilitate the use of documents (policy recommendations, guidelines, etc.) at local level in view of advancing the food sovereignty agenda in the world.
The 2015 Nyéléni International Forum for Agroecology is the conceptual base of Schola Campesina. We work at implementing its principles and action plan. The Nyéléni Declaration principles represent the starting point of all activities (trainings, participatory action research,…).
Schola Campesina APS is a legal association created in 2018 based in Gallese, in the Biodistrict della Via Amerina e delle Forre (Viterbo, Italy). The association is composed by food producers and includes a coordinator (Andrea Ferrante) and a project manager (Caroline Ledant); assuming a strong connection with its territory. We established strong partnerships with a dozen of organizations working on Food sovereignty and Agroecology in the world.
Schola Campesina works directly with small-scale food producers’
organisations identifying themselves with the food sovereignty movement
and with the 2015 Nyéléni Declaration.
“The diverse knowledge and ways of knowing of our peoples are fundamental to Agroecology. We develop our ways of knowing through dialogue among them (diálogo de saberes).Our learning processes are horizontal and peer-to-peer, based on popular education. They take place in our own training centers and territories (farmers teach
farmers, fishers teach fishers, etc.), and are also intergenerational, with exchange of knowledge between youth and elders.
Agroecology is developed through our own innovation, research, and crop and livestock selection and breeding“
How do we operate?
- We train organisations of food producers (peasant farmers, fisher folk, indigenous peoples, farmers, landless …)
- Our starting point is the local level, so that our position is deeply grounded and thereby enhanced, in order to influence change on the global level.
- Our work is constantly in a bi-directional sense:
we follow global processes in order to influence them and, at the same
time, we apply global outputs at the local level, otherwise.
- Schola Campesina’s references are the “Agroecology schools” of La Via Campesina: horizontal pedagogy “Campesino a campesino” and “Dialogo de Saberes”.
- Schola Campesina pay specific attention to languages
as instruments of popular culture. It aims to go beyond the “colonial”
- Being based near Rome (the headquarter of all food and agriculture related UN institutions), Schola Campesina has the particularity to be able to organize activities with peasant and activists coming from all over the world to defend our peoples’s rights.
- An agroecology school must be rooted in a territory and a community of knowledge; the bio-district represents these territorial roots.
- Beyond the training objective, Schola is also a centre for Participatory Action Research.
It seeks to mobilize knowledge from peasants and their organizations,
from academicians and their institutions, from activists and their
organisations through a Dialogo de saberes. Schola Campesina seeks to stimulate a co-production of knowledge thanks to a constructive dialogue between Agroecology and Food sovereignty allies.
- Dialogue of knowledge and centrality of small-scale food producers knowledge
- Centrality of social movements in the spaces of governance
- Recognition of community collective rights stemming from individual rights
- Farm autonomy, based on local knowledge, plant and animal genetic resources, energy and water resources.
- Agricultural and food policies have to be based on Rights and community autonomy (vs. trade rules)
Schola Campesina Onlus is an italian center for trainings and participatory research activities seeking to strengthen producers’ organizations in their struggle for Food sovereignty through knowledge valorization and sharing.
Based on Nyéléni International Forum for Agroecology (2015) and on the principles of Dialogo de saberes and Popular Education; Schola Campesina seeks to boost the sharing of peasant, academical and activist knowledge.
Through trainings and events Schola Campesina provides specific information related to the global governance of food and agriculture to producers’ organizations strenghtening their position within the Rome process.
The first training of Schola Campesina took place from Sept. 25 to Oct. 7 2017. It brought together 15 members of peasants’ organizations (LVC members) from around the world to share experiences and discuss issues related to, amongst others, the global governance of food and agriculture, peasants’ knowledge, peasants’ autonomy, agroecological practices, peasants’ global struggles, local and global food policies and women’s empowerment. It took place in a partner farm in the Biodistrict of Viterbo Province and in Rome next to all UN bodies related to food and agriculture which allowed the participants to benefit from peasant and activist knowledge from all around the world. This first edition has been funded by FAO / OPCP and Associazione Tulipano Bianco/Confeuro.